Monday, 31 August 2009

You swear it well

One of the great things about watching Countdown (and there are many) is when, on the occasional occasion, a rude word (or the possibility thereof) comes up. One such instance of this occured on the show last week, when both contestants (and me - aren't I clever?!) managed to come up with the eight-letter word BASTARDS during one of the letters games. (BREASTS would also have been there for a seven, funnily enough, if you'd have used the ninth of the letters in this round, which was an E.)

The thing that made me laugh about these bastards though (aside from the obvious), was the fact that, obviously wary of broadcasting an expletive at 3.45 in the afternoon, the producers bleeped it out when the contestant said the word bastards; they even put a little "CENSORED" animation over his mouth as he said it, so you wouldn't have been able to lip-read what he was saying. They didn't spell it out on the board afterwards either. Basically, unless you came up with the word too you'd have been none the wiser as to what exactly this eight-letter word could have been (although I dare say you could have worked it out for yourself soon enough - if you could remember what the letters had been).

But anyway, surely "bastards" isn't even that strong an expletive to be broadcasting on a daytime quiz show in the first place - especially one largely based on the bastard dictionary - is it?

I know that whoever's responsible for these things has been altering the title of the latest Quentin Tarantino movie Inglorious Basterds to merely Inglorious during the recent advertising campaign promoting said film on TV, but as far as I'm concerned that one deserves censoring on the grounds of its awful syntax and spelling alone, rather than any concerns about it being an offensive word in its own right; the Countdown example is a different kettle of consonants and vowels* entirely.

But hey, enough o' my yakking. Whaddaya say? Let's boogie!

Ian Dury & The Blockheads - There Ain't Half Been Some Clever Bastards mp3

*Put the kettle of consonants and vowels on, mother! I fancy a nice T!


Artog said...

How mad. You'd think if they were that bothered they'd just have a quiet word before they went on. In a strange, perverted way it's testament to their belief in the sanctity of the letters.

As you say Bastards isn't really that strong - one yardstick being that it gets an occasional airing on Eastenders. When I still cared I always thought that show would have been improved immeasurably if they'd let the characters swear properly and then just bleeped it all out.

Kippers said...

I'd be happy if they bleeped out all the dialogue on Eastenders! The slags!

Sorry, I mean the *****, obviously.

A day or so after the bastards incident, the first five letters that came up on the board during one letters round were CUTNS. Now that really was a close shave (matron)!